March 02, 2012

The Unseen Sees

Genesis 16:1-13

“Your Father, who is unseen … sees what is done in secret.”
—Matthew 6:6


Jesus instructs us not to make a spectacle of praying to our Father, “who is unseen.” And he adds, “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

We don’t see our Father, but our Father sees us. If you were given the choice between seeing God or having God see you, which would you choose?

Hagar, pregnant with Ishmael and fleeing from Sarai’s mistreatment, encounters God in the wilderness. “She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: &lsquoYou are the God who sees me,’ for she said, &lsquoI have now seen the One who sees me.’” Hagar did not see God himself, but his angel, who represented God. But God, through his angel, saw Hagar and spoke with her. God may hide his face, but he does not close his mouth.

God in his grace sees us in our wilderness. God in his glory sees us in our dishonor. God in his strength sees us in our weakness.

And the Word, who encourages us to pray, “became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). With that much sight we can rest content until we “see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

Lent is a good time to remember that we are seen by our unseen Father. Is this a comfort to you?

Father, in this Lenten season teach us to pray with confidence, knowing that you see us as we are and hear us as we call. In Christ our hope, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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